Saturday, February 20, 2010

My thoughts...

So I am sitting here watching the Olympics on TV, and remembering how much I used to love watching them with my mom. I am not too old, but I actually remember the moment of the torch lighting in the 1984 Olympics in LA... I don't remember who it was, but the guy ran up the steps, then another set of steps, and lit the wick that went upward, traced out the Olympic rings, then lit the cauldron. I remember crying when I saw Muhammad Ali light the torch in Atlanta. I have personally been on the ice surface where the 'Miracle On Ice' took place. I have a great picture of my best friend Chris standing mid ice, under the American flag, hands raised in celebration of the moment. The two of us were in the middle of taking a cross country trip that lasted 3 months, and we stopped in Lake Placid. The moment we drove into eyesight of the Ski Jumps, a warm feeling came over me. When we went inside the ice rink areas, and got to see the athletes practicing, the amazement and awe factor went off the charts. This was in mid-September in 2000. We were introduced to the name of a 'future Gold Medal champion' for the first time. One of the trainers was a large Russian woman, who saw us watching. She came over to us and said "Remember this name... Sarah Hughes! She will win Gold Medal in Salt Lake City in 2002. You remember that name, OK??" She was right! We saw Sarah skating, and even got her to wave at us while she skated around between jumps. I was in heaven. This was the Winter Olympic Training Site of the United States! Chris wasn't as thrilled as I was, but he did appreciate the site to some extent.

I get into all this detail to try to give an insight into how I feel about the Olympics. I stay up as late as I can watching them. I actually watch Curling, and have developed a fondness for the game. I try to watch as much of the Games as I can. Every year they are on, I am hooked on them. I owe this love of the Games to my Mom. She sent me an email the other day saying she missed watching the Games with me. But deep down inside, she knows I won't miss the Opening or Closing ceremonies, or even the most obscure events. I am a die hard fan of the Games, and the fact that American Idol beat out the Olympics the night Shaun White sent shock waves by winning his second Gold Medal really bothered me...

I hate 'Reality" TV. None of those shows are true reality anyway. Even Survivor was busted for having a re-shoot of a scene. Let's see a show about firefighters who blow through the slums and ghettos putting out fires... Or the heroin addicts being revived by the EMT and Medic on their 19th call of the day. That is a show I will watch. But until then, I am content with sobbing at the moments I see happen on the Olympics. And that damned Coke commercial about the Special Olympics!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowmageddon x 2!!

The residents of the Philadelphia area, have been subjected to two massive winter storms in the past 5 days. On Saturday, some areas got 3 feet! Personally, we got about 10 inches here in the Grove. Today, we got hit with another storm, lasting 24 hours, that dumped another large amount of snow on the area. No official numbers out here, but I think our number is around 22-24 inches. My son was trying to walk through the snow and it was over his waist! Mind you, he is only 3, but still, this is deep! We haven't been hit like this in quite some time. Statistically, this has been the snowiest Winter in the history of Philadelphia's record keeping. Us suburbanites usually get left out of those numbers, but we all know the depths, and have good memories of the "Big" storms. There is one problem with all this snow... The MSM (Main Stream Media) coverage of Snowmageddon, and the Snowmageddon sequel. Today, the local news stations had all day coverage of the fact that they were putting their reporters out in harms way, and making sure we were nice and close to panicked over the fact that this white stuff was falling. I'm all for news coverage, and the occasional "on the scene" report, but all frikkin day? C'mon, there is other shit in the world happening today. The world did not stop spinning to let the whole 6 or 7 billion residents to watch DC, Baltimore, and Philly get blanketed. There have been major accidents in the area that resulted in fatalities. Where was the news coverage of these sad events? Nope, instead we get 14 different reporters saying "Man it's cold and snowy!" for 12 hours. For crying out loud, we get the point. Do we need to hear it the whole frikkin day? Now our area was literally a blizzard today, and they shut down the major roads in the area- I-76, I-476, I-676, I-81, I-78, I-80, The Roosevelt Extension, and a few more roadways that aren't interstates. These roads were sealed off by the National Guard. If you were trying to get on the roads, you have better have had a damn good reason to be there. I could understand breaking into a show to announce that the roads were shut down. That is very important news. The EAS (Emergenc Alert System) did a great job of warning of us about the closures. Did I need to see reporters freezing their asses off to report they were chilled to the bone? Not really. I got the point a few times over. Please realize that there are other things going on in life, not just the snow coming down. I do like hearing about the rest of the world!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The sad leftovers...

This is a site showing one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen: The forced screwing over of Conan O'Brian. The set from his short lived stint as host of the Tonight Show is ruined, as is my respect for Jay Leno. Oh, he claims he had nothing to do with it, but who really believes that? Oddly, there is a video from Conan's show back in 2006, when Howard Stern was a guest, and Howard predicts way back then that Jay would be a problem. I'll attach video of that here so you can see it yourself. ( Sadly, the issue got VERY ugly, and very public, much to the chagrin of NBC. I used to be a big fan of both comics, with each of them having their own style of jokes. Jay had his Headlines and Jay-Walking, Conan had The Masturbating Bear and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Great routines, fun had by all. When Jay announced years ago that Conan would replace him, tons of people were stoked, feeling he deserved the chair after years of following Jay. I heartily agreed with that idea. Then, when time came for Jay to step aside with dignity, he fucked it all up by demanding his own prime time show. NBC fell for it, moving great shows all over (ie: SVU) and getting rid of others, only to see them resurrect on other channels (see SouthLAnd on TNT). They completely screwed things up to kiss Jay's ass so he didn't go to another network. It is sad, because it all failed. Failed miserably. And now it is over. Conan got screwed over. People will say he didn't, cause he got paid big time. But his career took a big hit here. And noble to the end, he made sure that his whole staff got paid well. I have since decided that I am never watching Jay Leno again. I was loyal to Conan, and will remain so. I respect his decision to walk away instead of getting shafted. I refuse to support Jay now that he cried to get his show back. Sadly, NBC gave in to him. So now he gets the Tonight Show back. It is sad they kissed his ass. I hope Conan's followers all band up, and he goes up against Jay and destroys him in the ratings war. I know I will be watching... will you?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Writing Challenge!

I found this challenge while on Twitter, and felt the urge to answer the call... It is hard to write a story using only 40 words!!!

The dispatch worried him. These calls always made him come home with a heavy heart. “Vehicle rescue – possible juvenile entrapment”. He put on his gloves over the latex gloves. He knew the intersection well. How bad would it be now?

See how good you can do here!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

I have been a huge fan of Pixar since I first heard of them in high school. I missed my chance to invest in them before Toy Story was released. I look back at the small fortune that could have been made had I done that, but I have learned things happen for a reason. Anyway, I have enjoyed all of their movies that have been released, and am eagerly awaiting the release of Toy Story 3 in June. Now the most recent film, "Up", impressed me on a whole new level. The story was so complete, the animation so incredibly detailed that I went around running around saying it should be up for "Best Picture" Academy Award. How tickled pink was I when the nomination list came out this week, and sure enough, "Up" was nominated for "Best Picture"!! Most people think it doesn't deserve the nomination being only an animated film, but they haven't realized the Joys of Pixar's incredible mastery. Fortunately, I have. So this list will be my 13 favorite quotes or moments from Pixar movies. Hope you enjoy it!

1) "You are a TOY!" "You are a sad strange little man, and you have my pity... Farewell!"

2) During the out-takes on Toy Story 2, the clip of the Prospector (Played by Kelsey Grammar) talking to the twin Barbie Dolls... "So you two are absolutely identical? You know I'm sure I can get you a part in Toy Story 3..."

3) The moment of WALL-E coming back to his regular self after EVA fixes him on Earth. The happiness my 3 year old son had made that scene so much more worth it. (I loved it too!)

4) I love the many adult jokes that go un-noticed by the kids. When Buzz is first introduced, Mr Potato Head is shown using his own lips in an "ass kissing" motion.

5) The trailer for Toy Story 3 shows Mr and Mrs Potato Head carrying a chalk board. Halfway across the screen, his back hideaway panel opens, and he gripes "Great, I just threw my back out!"

6) In the Incredibles, the first time Mr Incredible is sent to the island, and is launched out of the plane. His large belly gets in the way, and it takes him multiple times before he gets out.

7) I think the one thing Pixar does that is always clever to do, is put a reference to their other movies in each one. Since Toy Story was their first movie, they referenced Disney Movies. There was a Mickey Mouse Watch clock on the wall in Andy's room!

8) During the chase scene in Toy Story, they show a view from inside the minivan. Of course, the music playing is "Hakuna Matata".

9) In Cars, the best scene (there are too many to choose from in this one) is when Lightning McQueen rushes to Flo's gas station and tells everyone that Doc was a Piston Cup winner. At that point Mater spits out the oil he is drinking and blurts out "He did what in his cup?"

10) The perfect casting of voice talent by Pixar never ceases to amaze me. For example: Jeremy Piven being cast as McQueen's agent. Playing into his role on "Entourage" was so easy to see!

11) Speaking of casting, how about John Ratzenberger? He is Pixar's 'Lucky Charm', appearing in EVERY movie they have made! For those asking, he was the "Underminer" in The Incredibles.

12) The moment in Finding Nemo when you choked up. Dory is asking Marlin not to leave her, cause when she looks at him "I'm home". Every damn time I watch that movie i choke up.

13) This one takes a bit of explaining. I was sick home with bronchitis, and coughing up a storm. My wife and I were only dating at this poi nt, and she was down at her parents house, and she called to see what I was doing. I was watching the Out-takes from Toy Story 2, and the moment when Wheezy tries to catch Mr Microphone's mic. "Oh, Mr Microphone, are you ok? Did I damage you equipment? You gotta throw it to my flipper here, I can't reach very well!" I was on the phone with her, and started laughing so hard and coughing that it was hard to stop. She always references to this when we are talking about funny points in our lives. Anyone who has seen this scene, knows just what I am talking about!